Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Drug Addiction And It's Consequences

In recent years drug addiction has significantly increased in Bangladesh. That estimates say nearly 4.6 million people are using these illegal substances reveals its disquieting state. Due to its geographic and strategic location, Bangladesh is vulnerable to illicit trafficking. According to the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) illegal drugs are smuggled into the country through some 49 points along the borders of the two neighbouring countries. Generally the less educated, unemployed, low income group and homeless people as well as those living in an adverse family environment are more vulnerable to using illegal drugs. But the indication we receive about drug addiction is very alarming because people generally conceal the victim because of the social stigma attached, but the fact that nearly ten percent of outpatients in hospitals are cases of drug addiction involving heroin, ganja and phensidyl should concern us all. Addicts come from all strata of society: students, professionals, businessmen, labourers and rickshaw-pullers aside from other professions. Students so affected have caused a deterioration in standards of education and many have given up going to schools and colleges. Sadly, in order to feed their addiction they turn to various criminal activities. In the absence of a countrywide survey there are no accurate figures of drug users but as Bangladesh has become a transit country for illegal drugs produced in the `Golden Triangle’ and to a much lesser degree, the `Golden Crescent,’ the country’s porous border facilitates drug smuggling with these countries. But the addiction level of drugs increases with each day of use and if they are not available the patient shows critical withdrawal symptoms and immediate medical care is needed. Causes are many but all the drug addicts in our country are afraid of social stigma more than any threat from the law. But addicts most of all lose their professional and educational capabilities and self-dignity, to such an extent that they get involved in serious criminal activities as well. The sole aim in life of an addict becomes the procurement and use of drugs and all other aims are thrown by the wayside. Besides, dread diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, among others, can easily attack a drug addict. The target group has to be made aware about drugs, its misuse and its horrifying consequences.  A public awareness programme must be taken up by the government to educate people into the cause and effect of substance abuse.